Compaq reconsiders its Shandwick remit

Compaq is reviewing its European account currently handled by Shandwick, after the agency dumped it for Hewlett-Packard in the US.

Compaq is reviewing its European account currently handled by

Shandwick, after the agency dumped it for Hewlett-Packard in the US.



Shandwick held Compaq’s pounds 5 million global account until last

month, when it resigned the client in the US to take on a pounds

4-pounds 6 million US brief promoting Hewlett-Packard’s PCs.



Both the Hewlett-Packard and the Compaq accounts are believed to be

worth the same in Europe - around pounds 1.25 million each. Compaq is

the largest global provider of PCs.



Shortly after Shandwick gave Compaq notice in the US, the IT giant

signed up Hill and Knowlton on a short term contract ’to pick up where

Shandwick left off’. H&K starts on the business in the US in

mid-November. The nature and length of H&K’s brief there is still to be

decided.



Compaq had used Shandwick for 17 years. Now Virginia Cartwright,

Compaq’s head of PR and analyst relations for Europe, the Middle East

and Africa, is to hold talks with both Shandwick and H&K about which

agency would be best to work with in Europe.



She would not comment on observers’ suggestions that it would be

’absurd’ to stay with Shandwick in Europe, given its new relationship

with H-P.



’We are still in discussions with Shandwick here and will be talking to

Hill and Knowlton in Europe,’ she said.



Cartwright said a decision would be made within a month. If she chose

H&K she would have to give Shandwick 60 days notice - a far longer

period than in the US.



Giles Fraser, managing director of Information Industries for Europe,

H&K’s technical section, said: ’Clearly with a client of Compaq’s size

we would be very interested.’ But he said the company had not been in

touch yet.



While Compaq has used Shandwick for pan-European work, it uses ’best of

class’ agencies in individual markets, such as Firefly in the UK.



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